Secretary of the Interior hosts "Doggy Days" at work

"Doggy Day" for Dept. of Interior
"Doggy Day" for Dept. of Interior 03:35

The Department of the Interior kicked off its first-ever "Doggy Day" on Friday. Secretary Ryan Zinke says this is the first federal department to become a dog-friendly workplace, and CBS News' Chip Reid reports he's confident it's going to reduce stress and improve morale.

Secretary Zinke's dog, Ragnar, is already no stranger to his office. "Ragnar is our ambassador to happiness at the Department of Interior," Zinke said.

The former Navy Seal commander turned congressman says Ragnar is allowed to join him at work, and he wants the employees at his department to have the same benefit. "Even if you're having a bad day, Ragnar is really good at making the day just a little bit better." 

Secretary Zinke in his office with Ragnar CBS News

Zinke announced his intent to hold "Doggy Days" at Interior soon after his first day on the job. He's been counting down on Twitter, posting employee photos of some of the 80 dogs of the department expected to show up today. 

"I wanted our department to be inviting. We have terrific people. I want the work environment to be one that people really want to go to work."

Megan Bloomgren was thrilled to bring her dog Daisy with her to work. "There's definitely a buzz around the department. It's pretty exciting to be able to have your dog at work."

Welcoming dogs in Washington, D.C. offices is not an entirely new idea. Presidents have been bringing their dogs to work for generations. President Trump is the first president not to have a dog in the White House in nearly 130 years.  

Past presidents with their dogs CBS News

Nationwide, only about 7 percent of employers now allow dogs in the workplace. There are some concerns, including allergies and disrupting the work environment. 

"Not everyone loves dogs so we're respectful of that, too," Zinke explained. All of the dogs at the department must be housebroken, have their shots and must be well behaved. 

And if the dog thing works out, are cats next? "We'll take it one step at a time," Zinke said.